I recently found that my high school French teacher is retiring after 38 years at that school. I have 3 or 4 teachers from my high school years who profoundly touched my thinking and my life. Most of them have retired or otherwise moved on, and, I'm afraid to say, I have not properly thanked them for their work with me. Nevertheless, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of those feelings with one of my favorite teachers of that time. Here is the message I sent to her via the school's web mail system.
You will not remember me among the thousands of students you've had, but I took your French 1 and 2 classes in 1983-4 and 1984-5. I have very fond memories of the prefab that you shared with Ms. Dodson (one of my other favorite teachers) at the old high school.
I loved those classes, and wanted to let you know that your teaching had a profound effect on my life,giving me a love of language that I likely would not have had otherwise.
When I graduated from BA, I took 2 semesters of German at Missouri Southern, then served an LDS mission to Japan for 2 years. When I returned from Japan, I finished a BA in Japanese.
Professionally, I am a mid-career IT guy, working on computers every day, rather than oral or written translations, but my love of languages and foreign ways of thinking has shaped what I do here as well. I have become something of a programming language polyglot, programming in any of 6 or 10 different languages on a fairly regular basis. My interest in human languages has generated a linguistic interest in man-made languages.
My father always said that some subjects help you make a living, while others help you make a life. The language interest that your French classes helped instill in me have not become a career for me, but have enriched not only my career, but my life as well.
Thank you for your dedication, your insights into French language and culture, and your support to the thousands of us who took your classes over the years. The effects of your efforts are still felt by many, if not most of us.
Class of 1985